Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting in Shape: Day 6

The Title of this Posting Series

In reflecting on the title that I chose for this series, "getting in shape," I wonder what criteria I will use to determine when I can close the series and start a new one called something like "staying in shape." Should it be the ability to jog a certain distance without feeling tired, such as four park cycles? Whatever I use, it must be something quantifiable. While positive results such as the appearance of abdominal definition would be nice, it would be very fuzzy, and not have much validity even then, to determine when there is enough definition to consider myself "in shape." If there were such a way to quantify the quality of my six-pack (which does not yet exist), then I could say that "staying in shape" is the maintenance of the routine that keeps the definition around. As nice as this would seem, I believe that it would be more practical to make it based on the covering of that distance.

The thing is, I do not think that I want to make covering that distance a goal because then I might strain myself and rush to achieve it. I think of this, then, as a "macro-goal," if you will. While I could achieve the macro goal, I might accomplish it too fast and then burn out my healthy practices too quickly. If I make the goal to exercise at least a little bit every single day, I believe that I will arrive at the macro-goal in due course. It seems to me that this is the way the professional athletes achieve...focus on the day at hand, and let one day's focused exertion build strength for the next day's tasks.


Long before taking my jog today, I walked home from work. I did not time it today, but I know that the walk takes about a half-hour. This would qualify as aerobic exercise if I had slowed down my walk once I got close to the house. I did not stretch before of after. I also was not wearing good walking shoes; I was, instead, wearing my non-slip work shoes.

The jog went well today. Ran at about eleven o'clock and got done at 11:28. I took the medicine right before running, stretched out, and made two complete park circuits and walked it off by going down to the end of the block and back. I did a fairly good job of relaxing my shoulders and jaw. Footfalls were relatively light. Tomorrow, the real motivational challenge begins. Hopefully, the day-by-day goal-setting and reflections thereupon will help me to keep focused. Usually, it is about this number of days in a row that my intentions to get in shape and jog every day start to flame out. I start to think about running marathons, having a six-pack, and generally just being magically in shape. It is even tough for me to keep focused on writing every day. I used to start journals, promise myself that I would write every day, and then flame out quickly after a few days. I amdoing a fairly good job of typing without resting my hands on the keyboard. Right now I am typing standing up.

Today's consumption

Breakfast - individual side of mashed potatoes (no gravy); nibbled on popcorn chicken (did this off and on all through my shift; brewed iced tea
Lunch - grilled chicken breast; side of barbecue baked beans; side of seasoned green beans; biscuit with one packet of honey; two 12-ounce cups of soda; also ate a little piece of a seasoned potato wedge
Supper - Two bowls of a rice, scrambled hamburger, and frozen pea mix, seasoned with soy sauce; Milk

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